Removal is the legal name for deportation—sending someone away from the United States and barring them from reentering for years. It’s a life-altering event for our clients and their families, so we work our hardest to avoid it. Fortunately, there are ways to argue against removal, even in situations that might seem difficult. But to have the best chances of staying in the United States, it’s important to talk to our attorneys as early in the process as possible. Hablamos español con fluidez.
Removal is a possibility for anyone who, among other things:
Fortunately, there are often defenses to removability, and/or relief from removal. Depending on your circumstances, our attorneys may be able to argue that you:
Your eligibility for relief depends on your personal circumstances and immigration history. In any new removal case, the Ojala-Barbour Law Firm starts by interviewing the client about their current situation, past history, and goals. From there, our attorneys can start building the best possible defenses.
To deport you, the federal government usually files a charging document in immigration court saying why you are removable. This document is called a “Notice to Appear.” In those cases, you are entitled to a full immigration court case, at which you can challenge the government’s evidence and present evidence of your own showing that you should not be deported. A different process is called “expedited removal,” in which an immigration enforcement officer sometimes makes the decision very quickly. If you are in removal proceedings or if you know someone who has an expedited removal order, you can contact us to discuss the situation.
In immigration court, you have a legal right to be represented by an attorney at your own expense, and the earlier in the process you hire us, the more we can help. If you are hiring us on behalf of someone who is in immigration detention, we can start by requesting a bond hearing (if it wasn’t already scheduled) and appearing at that hearing to argue for that person’s release. If a bond was already requested and denied, it can be difficult, but is sometimes possible, to ask for a new bond hearing if we can demonstrate that there are changed circumstances. Regardless of whether you need a bond hearing, an early start also helps us get started building your defense and ensuring that we present the best case to the immigration judge.
The next steps are typically one or more preliminary hearings called Master Calendar hearings, followed by a “merits hearing” or Individual Hearing at which an immigration judge hears the merits of the case. This will include the government’s case for deporting you and your case for why the government should not be able to deport you, or why the immigration judge should grant relief from removal. If hired, our attorneys appear with you at all of your hearings, and work with you in between them to build a strong defense. Depending on what we are arguing, that may require active participation by you or your loved ones, or documentation about your current life and country of origin. If you lose your case but want to continue arguing that you should stay in the United States, we also handle immigration appeals.
If the federal government is trying to remove you or someone you love from the United States, the Ojala-Barbour Law Firm can help fight it. To tell us your story and learn more about your options, send us a message online or call (651) 214-6284 today.